Saturday, July 15, 2017

And So They Laugh

There are an innumerable amount of things that we can learn from the African people. The women are strong, and the men work hard. However, I suppose the most notable thing, to me, is their ability to laugh. They love to laugh. It does not matter the circumstances, they can always be found laughing. The small children who don't go to school and have next to nothing can still be found throwing their heads back laughing as they run through the dust roads of their small village. The older widows are perhaps my favorite to be around. Some are taking care of little ones, and some are trying to simply take care of themselves. These women have the most beautiful smiles and laughs of all. No matter their circumstances, those who love the Lord, truly laugh at the times to come. They have the most beautiful laugh lines that I have ever seen. Their faces are full of wisdom and knowledge, and they radiate the love of the Lord. We could learn a lesson or two from these marvelous people. In troubled times, they laugh. In happy times, they laugh. In working times, they laugh. They love to laugh, but when they worship their One True King they don't just laugh... they dance. 

Pray that we will continue to listen to what it is that the Lord has called us to do and that we can love these wonderful people with all that we have. 

-Katie 

God's Provision

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Team of the Day: Outreach Bulawayo
Country of the Day: Zimbabwe

We serve a mighty God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Pray for team members to trust for God's good provision of all their needs in His timing and manner.


One Encounter

This summer has emboldened us to approach people for the sake of the Good News! We have learned the importance of getting to the point with people. It is common in this city that you will only have one encounter with most people, and our team sees the importance of sharing the Truth with people at the soonest opportunity. 

Praise God for what He is teaching us!
Pray that these single encounters will make eternal impacts.

-P52 Toronto

"We Don't Speak Khmer"



We are all doing really well. We have sincerely enjoyed all of the moments we have had with our students and family. Something funny that we have come across is that one little girl that we live with has not grasped that we don't speak fluent Khmer. Everyday we have to remind her that "We don't speak Khmer." It is a fun experience that we enjoy to experience everyday. 

Our team has had the opportunity to try some new foods.This week, we got to try pigeon and silk worms. From the words of Brian, "It was slimy yet satisfying". 

Fun Memories of this week: 
  • We had a family outside bathing experience. It all started when we had a small water fight at our home, but then things escalated. Then they brought out the shampoo and we had a hair washing party.
  • This past weekend, there was a convention at our church. There were 30-40 pastors from the province to come and train together. There was a visiting pastor & his wife from Florida and we got to be encouraged by them. It was so cool to see how the Lord has been faithful and to see how He is at work here.
  • Also there a mud fight which began as a harmless game of soccer in the rain. 
Prayer Requests: 
  • That our team would remain healthy to finish the weeks strong
  • Travel safety from going to and from places
  • Daily energy and strength 
-Whatever it Take for Cambodia


Indiana Jones style

We spent around 11 hours exploring temples today. It's safe to say we channeled our inner Indiana Jones. I may or may not have hummed music from the movies as we walked.

-Whatever it Takes 4 Cambodia

Whatever it Takes for Cambodia - updates and prayers

This last week we ate some snail, not as bad as we thought. We got to meet some Korean missionaries, and spent Sunday morning in a local village. Every Thursday and Sunday the youth students who live here go out to local village and do Sunday School out there with the kids. We also tag along and it is so great to see the youth leading such important things.  We love being in the villages, it's so quiet and peaceful. Some of the churches run 15 kids while other villages will have over 75 kids show up. This last week we also got our visas renewed without having to travel 6 hours to the border. We were able to travel 3 hours to the capital. We have also been getting new students in the school which are answers to prayers. Last January the school lost some students to other schools. But since then our host family has gained the students that transferred and some. Once we leave there is another volunteer coming to help. This volunteer has no support so the host mom has taken it upon herself to help raise support. We only need about 8 more students to help support her long term stay here.

Bible study group
We have reached the halfway point.  Our hearts sadden because that means in about 3 weeks this journey will be over. We look forward to the next three weeks because our relationships with the local teachers here have been strengthened and Bible study is still going strong. This last week we got some quality time hearing one of the teacher’s stories. She is 21, lost her mother her senior year of high school and could not express how thankful she was for the church.  We love sitting and listening to our host mom tell stories. We love learning so much from her and her life here.Some days can be discouraging because of the language barrier and not being able to verbally give Gospel straight to the kids. But we know our host family here is focused on that and I am here to serve them.  

Prayer Requests:
  • The last three weeks we will stay focus and do the work we have been given with joy
  • God will send more students to the school
  • Homesickness
  • Bible study with the teachers
  • The senior students are about to take their end of the year test. They have studied so hard. Pray that they will pass.
  • Relationships will strengthen
  • God will change lives and hearts

-Erin and Ashley 

God's Work in Village One- Advance Team

The people here are super friendly here it doesn't matter how busy they are if you want to have a conversation with them they'll stop what they are doing and talk to you for hours. We are now in village 2. We stayed in village 1 for 3 weeks. The first week we did a lot of house to house evangelism (H2HE) we eventually made several Bible study contacts through H2HE. 

The next 2 weeks consisted of Bible studies every day. One of the coolest things so far has been getting to see people hear the gospel for the first time... ever. Over the past 3 weeks we have seen several people come to to know Jesus on a personal level. It has been super encouraging to see God tear down the walls of Satan in village 1. 

I now ask that you continue to pray for me and my team as we move to village 2. Be praying for the people that surrendered their life to Jesus will continue to keep on doing Bible studies with one another, because there was already some backlash from the other villagers about being a born again believer.

--Cory

Let the little children come...

The Lord is doing lots on this side of the world! The church we are working with has one main location and then 7 church plants around the area. The Gospel is accepted in some areas more than others, so pray for the spiritual warfare in the less accepted areas. The children want to come to church, but many parents do not want them to attend. Pray for the parents to open their hearts! Pray for the children to continue to fight for the Gospel! For they are the next generation of adults!!!
Thank you for the continued prayers and thoughts!!!
-Kara
Multinational Advance

Broken Hearts for the Truth

Yesterday, we stayed with a cousin family that previous teams have been able to share with. We continued to share the truth with them, but they remained very devout to cousin beliefs. One blessing, however, is that they have some pretty direct ties with the tourist organization we are with. That enables us to have a continued relationship with the family.


Please pray that their hearts are broken for the truth.

-Explorer & Evangelist Team

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pay Attention

West Africa is an area where it is not difficult to share the Gospel. Of course it comes with its own challenges, but the people here are so devoted to keeping the peace that it is easy to share what you believe. Since arriving, most days we have engaged in conversations about God with multiple people. We use the Bible to teach English, have Conversation Clubs where we teach Bible stories, and have discussions about the truths of the Bible. The issue has been that no matter how many times we share, and the countless times the leaders here have already shared, the students here sometimes just don't seem to understand.

I have always heard that no one can accept and understand the Bible as truth without the working of the Holy Spirit, and I've never seen that so clearly displayed as I have this summer. We passionately share our own experiences with God, and we try to "reason and persuade" as Paul did when he spoke, but it always feels like there is a block in communication. I think that what I've discovered is that people don't really listen on their own. Like the story of the conversion of Lydia in Acts 16, we need God to open our hearts so that we can pay attention. We need God to move before we can experience the truth of His Word. 

Please pray for our team as we continue to share, that we won't tire of speaking truth.
Please pray for the people of West Africa, that God would allow them to hear, understand, and believe. 

-Hailey
English in Africa


New Relationships

The English Center where we are along with our Guesthouse has been a busy place since we arrived. When we first arrived, we began to hold meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays to engage in conversation with members and new friends. There are about 10-15 people that form a core group with which we work specifically on sharing conversations and building relationships with each other. Some of these are Christians and some are Muslims. We enjoy each other’s company and have found that these new friends of ours just love to be around us. 

There are a few of them who are interested in what type of relationship we have with Jesus Christ and they ask questions. I have developed close friendships with a few of the girls and a couple of the young men. They have asked me how I can be so happy all the time and wonder if I feel peace and love. I have been able to tell them a little bit about my testimony and they, in turn, have shared some of the things they struggle with. I can see that the Father is working in their hearts. Some of the girls that are Christians, are very passionate about growing and learning in their relationship with Christ. One young man in particular who has become a close friend of mine is a Christian, but doesn’t seem to have a very solid view of living and showing what life with Christ really looks like. He wants to spend time with us all, but does not have the eagerness to grow. I have asked him what he thinks blocks him from growing in his personal relationship with Christ and he says that anger and stubbornness have been hard to overcome. I have explained to him that this relationship requires giving it all to Christ. 

The other young man that I have befriended is Muslim. He does not have a strong tie to the Muslim religion, however, and appears to be searching for something to bring him peace. I will ask that you

Please pray for these newfound friendships and that Christ can work through me and our team as we reflect the power of the HS in our own lives.

-Emily
Great Commission English Center

Active Faith

I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Philemon 6

Team of the Day: Northern Thai Challenge
Country of the Day: Thailand

Pray for team members to actively share their faith and for their understanding of God's goodness to be enriched.

Being Obedient to His Mission

Unlike the past three weeks, this week we stayed where we usually live in S town.  We did not go anywhere because we had to get our visas renewed for another 30 days and that required us to stick around until everything was finished.  Our visas were renewed, so everything is good on that front.  Even though sitting in the immigration office was not ideal, being restricted to our hometown gave us an opportunity to meet and share the Gospel with some really interesting people this week.

One day we went to a coffee bar on the beach & ordered some drinks.  While enjoying our Sprite and coconut juice, we noticed two little boys, and we invited them to come sit with us.  We then asked them to play Suspend and General with us.  After a while of talking and laughing, we acted on an opportunity the Lord gave us to share the Gospel with them.  We were mainly talking to the oldest boy, but both were intently listening.  They had never heard the Gospel and said the message we shared with them made sense, but they needed to learn more about Islam before they could see how what we shared aligned with what their religion taught.  We explained to them it is not about the religion someone associates with but rather it is about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We explained that all religions are about doing more good than bad in hopes of being accepted by God, but in reality we can never do enough to outweigh our sin debt to God.  We continued explaining that God knew we could never erase the sin, so out of love God became a man and paid the debt that we all owe. We continued to explain many other things including the resurrection to which they were curious to learn. The Lord led us to many others who had never heard of the Gospel.  Praise be to God!

The Lord is teaching us that when it comes to sharing with nonbelievers, remaining faithful and obedient to His mission is the most important task.  Whether we are called to plant the seed, water the seed, or harvest the seed—we must be obedient and realize God is in control.  Of course, it would be amazing to be the ones who harvest the seed and get to baptize them and begin to disciple them, but remaining faithful to plant and water the seed is just as important in the eyes of God.

-Aaron G.

People are the same

No matter where you go, most people have the same interests and desires - or at minimum the same questions.

Pray for our team as we seek to help answer some of these questions.

-Katie
Outreach Bulawayo

Persons of Peace

This summer is a learning experience for all of us. It is safe to say it is nothing like what we expected it to be, but it is far greater than anything we could have ever expected! We get to learn about & be exposed to religions that we had no understanding of prior to coming here. The Lord is using this time to sanctify all of us and show us His plan for reaching the whole world. Persons of peace are looking for us, we must keep looking until we find persons of peace!

-P52 Toronto

Encouraging Disciple Makers

While doing some EV work at a local mall, my small group came across a woman outside of a movie theatre sitting by herself. I asked if I could join her and she grinned and nodded yes. After talking for a bit with the help of a translator, I found out that the women had a few children, she was a follower of Jesus, and unfortunately, her husband passed away just 2 months ago. As she spoke about her husband, she didn't really show any signs of sadness. It wasn't that she didn't care, she just had a peace with her. Her peaceful spirit made me question why she wasn't upset. She said "I know my God had a plan through all of this." This stunning response made me jump to the conclusion that she must be an amazing spokesman for God's kingdom.

I asked if if she had been sharing her peace that she has found through knowing to gospel. To my surprise, she nervously laughed and said no. I began to share with her that she has an amazing gift that she is keeping from so many of her friends and family. She has the opportunity to spread the hope we have in Jesus with the people of this city! I explained that the fear she had from being rejected wasn't people rejecting her... they're rejecting God. 

Saying these things to her was a reminder to myself outside of this trip. WE as believers have to share with the people around us. We know our culture best, we know our language best, and most of all, we are called to share. We need to let the power of God put our fear to rest! I thank God for this woman and ask that you pray for boldness in her and continued boldness within our team!


-Katie

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Setting out into the Unknown

We set out on June 1st for the adventure that God had placed ahead of us. After 2 full days of travel, we were jetlagged but too excited to really care, we had talked about this moment for months and we had finally made it! In the capital city for one night, we were able to explore a pagoda (a Buddhist temple). Witnessing people bowing down to many different statues of the multiple gods that they worship, was heartbreaking. Their unshakable devotion was evident as they brought their children to teach them the ways of Buddhism, our hearts were heavy as we learned that these children are taught to walk the streets asking for food because that’s the way they please their gods, plus that’s the only way they eat. Our hearts were burdened for the people in that place and they are forever in our prayers.

Leaving the capital city we set out to our final destination, coming off the plane we were greeted by unexplainable hospitality. We knew we were going to like it here, it felt right! We piled into a van that was open on all ends but had bars in place of windows to provide a nice little breeze as we drove toward our destination. Prior to arriving we didn’t have a clue of where we would be sleeping or what they had in store for us but we soon found out that we’d be staying on a college campus. As we pulled up there was this beautiful, newly built, never before lived in, white house with a red roof. We were told that this is where we would live, all 13 of us girls (we traveled with the Family Camp Team as well). We entered the home to find a toilet, a squatty, 2 showers, an area to bucket bathe, sinks, furniture and enough room for all of us to lay our heads down at night. God had provided all of this for us, we had not a clue that we would be living in such luxury.

We were to discover later that the organization that is 100% behind the Lord’s mission in this country had been praying for a team to be sent here for 2 years. They had asked that the Lord would send workers to reap the harvest here and they had prepared a place for them... for us. How faithful these people were to pray for us for 2 years and for the Lord’s provision to be evident. We had the honor to meet these faithful women, sit in their presence and speak with them about what the Lord had sent us to do; to serve in clinics and provide encouragement to those living in camps far away from home. They were each able to lay a hand on us and earnestly pray, what an honor it was to be in the presence of the Lord’s faithful servants. 

We had also been informed that they area we were to be in had not received rain in too long a time, the crops were drying up and ground was beginning to crack. Our team came together and we prayed, and prayed and prayed for rain. Since the moment we spoke these words, the rain has not ceased, it comes every night but provides us clear days (most of the time) to do the Lord’s work! The power of prayer has been evident this summer! We’ve really enjoyed integrating ourselves into the culture, purchasing the women’s traditional, long skirts with beautiful d├ęcor on them (longues), (confession time, may or may not have purchased 5 already). The food also is delicious, I talk about all this culture for a reason, because we’ve noticed that they truly enjoy and honestly are more willing to listen if they notice the effort we put forth to be a part of their culture, they admire that and we admire them!

Prayer Requests:
·        We ask that you remain prayerful for the believers here, that they will remain steadfast in what the Lord has taught them and that they will continue to reach out to areas that may not have the resources to access the gospel.
·        Please pray also for the non-believers that they will be confronted by a person of peace in the area and that they will seek out His truth.
·        Please pray also for those devote in Buddhism and other religions that they will hear the truth about the Only Saving Grace and that their households will grow up with assurance that they will spend eternity with our Savior because they believe in and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ.
·        We pray that this darkness that has captured areas of this country will dissipate so that the Lord’s beauty can be unveiled, so eyes will be opened and hearts will be changed, so harvesters will be many and souls will be won!

·        Remain prayerful as the Lord does His work in this place! 

-Rebecca

My Story

This past Wednesday night, I was able to share my testimony at the church's Wednesday night service. There were around 40-50 people (mainly children). The two verses I included in my testimony were ones a lot of the children had actually memorized in Khmer so for them to be able to interact in "my story" was such a sweet moment!! Jadyn shared yesterday morning, and Garrett will be sharing this week! 

Pray for the Lord to use our stories to work in the lives of those hearing them!!

-Kara
Multinational Advance Team

Protection & Deliverance

And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.
2 Thessalonians 3:2

...for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12

Team of the Day: Engage Cambodia
Country of the Day: Cambodia

Please pray for protection and deliverance from evil. Pray that team members would trust wholly in God as He surrounds them.

Despite Weakness

Man…God is good. He truly is strong when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Today was my lowest day yet. I felt lonely. I felt weak. I felt bitterness. I continued thinking of home, family, and friends. I felt discouraged. BUT…God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

Thank you Lord for my teammate David. Our program today got cancelled, so David came over around 1:30 so we could look for some ministry opportunities. Before he came and before we left, I prayed that God would glorify himself in whatever we did. I prayed that He would make himself known despite my weakness. We walked to a soccer field in town with the hope of starting a pick-up game and sharing the gospel with the group afterward. God had another plan. 

There were a few young teenagers sitting on the sideline at the field. They told us a game would be starting soon and they were preparing. I could not move the conversation further. I froze, not knowing what to say. After a few minutes of silence, David gathered them and gave Biblical advice on how to be a Christian on the soccer field. Praises! I became unfrozen and shared the gospel using a soccer analogy. When we finished, one of the teenagers asked us to speak to his coach. We did not know where this would lead but we agreed. 

We soon realized his coach was also the coach of a professional men’s soccer team which had begun gathering at the field (they are playing against a team from Columbia on Sunday…woah). Before they started practice, the coach allowed me to share the gospel with the entire team! 30 or so men! Fantastic! We then shared the gospel and/or a word of encouragement with a child watching a soccer game, a soldier on break from duty, a group of school youth (where I got to hold guinea pig!), and a young man walking home. In almost every instance, I would have kept walking. However, David would not allow it. He said, “Let’s go talk to them… How about them?… We should go to them.” He wanted me to do most of the talking, but he initiated the conversations and that was all the push I needed. I was even able to encourage David with Isaiah 55:10-11 and the story of Jim Elliott. God used me despite my weakness. 

Now, as I sit here in my room alone, there is no bitterness, loneliness, or discouragement. I feel renewed. Few people in Zambia will admit they are not yet saved, even though we show them the falsehood of their salvation beliefs, but we are encouraged by Isaiah 55:10-11. When God’s Word is spoken, it ALWAYS fulfills the purpose for which it is sent. 

-Tim
Zambia Sports

Relationships, Laughter, and Love - Advance Team

This past week has been filled with relationships, laughter and non-stop love being out-poured by the team as well as the villagers in our new village. We have officially moved to our second village of the summer and completed a week of ministry. It has been great! 

We have thankfully been able to share the Bridge Gospel Track 82 times since we have arrived in the new village! People are very open and welcoming as we ask to return for Bible studies and just hang out. The kids love hanging out with us also! The elementary school is right next to where we are staying and we always have sweet faces saying "good morning" and saying "good night". 

We have really appreciated the friendliness of the people here. God's hand is definitely working through the relationships and I can't wait to see what more He does! God is so faithful and continues to reveal Himself through working in this kind of ministry with us relying on Him more and more as we go along. He is truly all in all and is all we need.

Please continue praying for endurance as we only have about 12 days of ministry left! The days seem like they are not long and there are still so many who need to hear. 
Pray for our hearts to continuously be broken for the people that are lost as well.

-Lauren

God is Working through Relationships

It's good to see how God is working in our interactions with the people. We are beginning to develop deeper relationships with them. It is good to be able to get closer to the people of this area. We have been hanging out more with the young adults at the church, and it has been rewarding to be able to fellowship with the Christian young adults. It actually feels like we are making an impact to see our relationship with others grow and deepen. When we missed a week, the ladies at the market also asked about us and why weren't there; they also want to make sure that we were going to be there this week. It is so good to see that they are truly interested in the Bible study that takes place. On Sunday we also learned that one of the women went around and evangelized in our place, and she said people asked about where we were; it was nice to see that God is truly working in their lives. It is also good to see that they are taking a genuine interest in the things of God.

Please pray that we will continue to see God work in this area and that people will grow in their faith. 

-Heather

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Heavenly Set

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

Team of the Day: Cross Fit Language Student
Country of the Day: North Africa

Pray for team members to continually set their affections, desires, and thoughts on the eternal.

Open Field

We do weekly events that give us the opportunity to engage children with stories from the Bible. On Tuesday nights, we do an event called open field. It is an opportunity for parents to come and pay a very low fee for their children to play sports with other children for two hours. Each open field also involves a time of Bible study. 

Please pray that open field will continue to be an opportunity for people to hear the Gospel message! 

-P52 Toronto

Three New Sisters in Christ

While walking around sharing with Muslims on a small island I noticed that a young girl was following close beside me. She kept saying my name and smiling. When we started walking back I asked her if she was Muslim or Christian and with the help of a translator asked her when she got saved. She said that she was a Christian because of her parents, but didn't remember when she decided for herself to follow Jesus. We sat down on the beach and I was able to share the gospel with her. Two other young girls joined in to listen. Once I finished I was able to share my testimony about how I thought I was a Christian because of my parents, but it wasn't until I was 9 that I chose for myself to become a follower of Christ. The conversation led into not only one, but all three girls trusting in Jesus as their Savior. Praise the Lord for placing those girls in our path and for showing them their need for Him in their lives!


-Elisabeth 

Chicago: Adventures in the Big City

Throughout the summer Becky and I have done countless hours of research, sent WAY too many emails, traveled all over the city and suburbs for interviews (I'm now banned from navigating because I get us lost far too often), and taught multiple English lessons. That said, we've also been on countless adventures in the Windy City. 

The other fourteen college students working in Chicago with a church plant have been wonderful in welcoming us into their family for the past few weeks and including us in team dinners and adventures throughout Chicago. 

Becky and I just wanted to give you a couple snapshots of the random memories we've been able to make this summer (you're welcome, Mom!)

Sending Love from Sweet Home Chicago,
Sydney
a local church's Bible Talk group I got to go to with some GenSend students

Group pic with GenSend from our
4th of July cookout (our supervisors REALLY love fireworks)
Our view from the Willis Tower
(it's the 12th tallest building in the world!)
Becky on the LEDGE
(a glass ledge in the Willis Tower where you can
step out 108 floors above the city)
tickets from a WONDERFUL food festival downtown 

Meet the Team: Hope & Health

With already over a month into the summer I finally have the privilege of sharing with you how the Lord has been working through the Hope and Health team!! We are a team of 7 girls who were sent to Southeast Asia to serve in clinics and integrate ourselves into the culture. We were called for 2 months to assist not only in treating people of their illnesses but also to share about the One and Only, True Healer, Our Heavenly Father.  As we prepared to leave our comforts of home, we only had one thing on our mind, we are the instruments that God chose to use to spread His Truth throughout the nations, if we don’t go, who will?, if not now, then when? There was no holding us back from going!

Let us introduce ourselves:
  • Meredith (farthest left) is from and attends college in Tennessee. She is 21, studies nursing, plays soccer and is secretly one of the funniest people you’ll meet!
  • Abby (left; light pink skirt) is from and attends college in South Carolina. She is 19, studies interdisiplinary studies, plays soccer and hopes to be a physician assistant one day.
  • Lauren (left; stripped skirt) is our team leader, she is 21, from West Virginia, but attends college in South Carolina where she plays soccer and studies Pre-Med.
  • Morgan (middle; light blue skirt) is from and attends college in Mississippi. She is 20, studies Pre-Med and played her first soccer game here (and she was awesome).
  • Rebecca (me; right; red skirt) is from North Carolina but attends college in South Carolina. I am 21, study nursing, play soccer and I hope to work in the ER, as well as travel with my nursing degree.
  • Gracie (right; purple skirt) is from and attends college in South Carolina. She is 22, studies nursing, plays soccer and loves all “the little ones!” (babies)
  • Evelyn (farthest right) is from and attends college in New Mexico. She is 21, studies nursing, plays soccer and absolutely loves sunflowers. 

I am beyond excited to share how the Lord is moving in our ministry this summer! Although our internet access isn't the best I will try my best to keep you informed and updated on praises and prayer requests we may have. As stories will be told in blogs to come I pray that you will keep in mind that this summer is not about us but about Him, it's not about us but about them! Remain prayerful for this nation and the people within, that the Holy Spirit will flood this place and that we will remain faithful servants to the One who sent us! Thank you prayer warriors! 

- Rebecca

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Day with Advance Team

The beeping of watch alarms mixed with rooster crows and dog barks serve as the wake up call for the Advance Team around 5:00 each morning. We take turns making breakfast while the others start their day with personal time in the Word and in prayer. We normally have a few visitors stop by before school or work, so we glady say "Maayong buntag" (Good morning!) and greet them with a raise of our eyebrows. After breakfast we have our team time where we quiz each other on memory verses and read our Bible studies together for the day. After a team prayer, we slip on our Chacos and adventure out into the barangay (village). 
Going house-to-house, handing out tracks, getting treated with Filipino snacks, and fellow shipping together in Bible studies take up our mornings until we join together again for lunch. Lunch always consists of rice and something else that our translators have taught us to cook, so it's always delicious. With full stomachs and refreshed spirits, we venture back out into the barangay to minister to more people and strengthen our relationships with our current Bible study contacts. 

Once we get back to our home away from home, we gather to make dinner and talk about what the Lord has done that day. With content hearts, we eat together, finish up chores, talk with some visitors, and get ready for bed. 

Please continue to pray that we will rely on God above all else and that we will take advantage of the time the Lord has given us here to share His Gospel and His love with the people of the Philippines.

--April

It's Worth It

I first tried to write about how incredible this summer has been thus far, but I quickly had to delete my words because words cannot even begin to describe what we have experienced. God has shown Himself in so many ways. He has helped us to serve those that desperately need basic things such as food and clothing. Most importantly, He has allowed us to love the most beautiful people that I have ever met. As I spend time with these incredible people, they capture my heart. But there was one day where I found myself standing in a village, covered in dust, and surrounded by loving and laughing children. In that moment I realized that these people, whom I have grown so fond of, have completely stolen my heart. My journal entry from this day writes: 

Day 23
I am covered head to toe in dust and my heart is fuller than it has ever been... We ended up sitting with the children while listening to the lesson that R was teaching. We plopped down in the dirt right along with the kids. When I sat down, almost all of the kids cautiously got as close to me as possible. They would just look at me and smile. Most of the kids didn't know and English. But if all I did today was love on them and tell them "UJesu Ugutando" (Jesus loves you)... it's worth it. 
Soon after saying UJesus Ugutando over and over, the more shy kids started coming closer and closer. One little boy started off at a distance but soon was sitting as close to me as possible. He couldn't have been older than 4. His need to be loved was so evident. He laid his head on my legs and held my hand up close to his face. No doubt part of it was because he was amazed by my very white skin, but the other part, I just knew, was because he wanted to feel the love and comfort that I was giving to every child that I could. 

If I could just love those kids the way Christ loves me... they deserve that love just as much as I do. My prayer is that they will one day come to know the God who created them and who loves them unconditionally. 


-Katie 

Speak the Word of God

I met a young man some weeks ago at a pick-up futbol game we initiated. His name is Curtis. His interest in studying and being taught the Bible is growing. We have shared the truth of how to be saved multiple times and are still learning about his Zambian Roman Catholic beliefs (different than those of other countries). 

We allowed him to join us evangelizing, so he was able to hear how we shared the good news and how to know if someone truly is a Christian. Even yesterday, he came to my discipleship Bible study despite him living a great distance away. To top it off, he has invited me to come "speak the Word of God" to the youth of his Roman Catholic Church next week. Praises! 

I asked to attend his church today and he agreed. I wanted to gain a better understanding of what the youth are being taught and exposed to in the church. Unfortunately, he brought me to the Kikaonde service, which begins just after the English service. Nevertheless, he and my trusted neighbor Bakatongo (friend of the missionary) helped me understand what was happening and some of what was said. Curtis gave me summarized sections of the message and Bakatongo critiqued many things according to the Bible. It worked quite well. We, the two visitors, were the only two with Bibles. For this reason, I know exactly what I will teach over next week. The same lesson I have taught at all four schools. Study the Bible for yourself to protect against false teachings...using Matthew 4:1-11. 

Please pray for Curtis and the youth of his church. 
Pray that they would strive to understand the teachings and commands of the Bible and that they would not be won over by the fancy attire and attractive words of a false teacher.

-Tim

Zambia Sports

Search for Peace & Redemption

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Team of the Day: Multinational Advance
Country of the Day: Cambodia

Pray for the lost to search for peace and redemption in Christ. Pray for team members to fearlessly communicate in word and deed Christ's peace and redemptive plan with the lost.

School Days

The past week has been nothing short of adventurous and amazing! We arrived in the village on Monday afternoon and have been going nonstop ever since. In the mornings, there are around 30 preschoolers who attend the school. They arrive between 6 and 6:30 am, so they have been our wake up call this past week!
We start each day pretty early by praying with the church/school staff, and then we have been busy painting around the facility. One day we painted the ceilings, and well that was fun! In the afternoons, each of us has been teaching English in local schools. Jadyn and Garrett are in a public school, and I am teaching at the school owned by the church. So far I've personally taught 15 English classes in 4 days!

-Kara
Multinational Advance Team

Many Nations

The first month of being here we spent much time exploring and getting acclimated to this city. It was a challenging task, but it was rewarding in so many ways. God graciously allowed us to meet people from many diverse ethnicities and religious backgrounds and share the good news with them. This is a huge praise because most of them had never heard the message we were telling them! 

Since being here, we have been able to tell the message of Jesus to people from: Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Greece, Philippines, China, Korea, Lebanon, Egypt, and many more. We are blown away by the diversity here in the Greater Toronto Area. It is not uncommon to go to the grocery and hear a great multitude of languages being spoken.

Pray for those we have had opportunity to share with. 
Pray for more opportunities to follow up with them. 

-P52 Toronto

I cannot

These people are real. They smile. They laugh. They sing. They dance.
I cannot pretend that this is just a "random" place on the other side of the world.
I cannot forget the people I have met and the relationships that have been formed. 
I cannot unsee what I've seen. 
I cannot unhear what I've heard.
I cannot forget. Nor do I want to.


-Jennifer

Experiencing True Culture

This past week, our team got the privilege to go to a festival celebrating Idul Fitri, which ends the fasting month of Ramadan. Our translator told us about this festival and he wanted us to experience not only the religion in this island, but the culture that was around us. There were so many people at this festival and the atmosphere was amazing. We also got to be part of the last breaking of the fast and met a government officer who was the guest of honor at this festival. There was so much going around that it was a little overwhelming.

While we were there, though, we decided to prayer walk while we were looking around for the lost people that were there and see where God lead us. We ended up walking on the beach where hundreds of people have congregated to join the festivities. It was really cool to see how the local culture was very emphasized at this festival and being accepted in their celebration.

One thing I notice at the beginning of the festival, there was a tower of packets of rice that a couple of Muslims brought in. I didn’t know what it was at first, but our translator said it was just a symbol of the breaking of the fasting month. While looking at it, I reminded me about what God says about praising other idols. In Acts 17:22-32, Paul was in Athens and was addressing to the men of Athens about the many idols they had in their city. Paul saw one idol that was labeled as the “unknown god” and asked them who was this. He eventually proclaimed that “The God who made the world and everything in it, …does not live in temples made by man…he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” It brought me sadness because these people are in need of Savior and that is Christ Jesus. I ask for prayers for these people that God may remove all barriers, including those in form of idolatry, so we these people can be more receptive to His Word. I also would like to pray that God will give us grace, patience, and love as we communicate with these nice people and not let any distractions enter our minds as we speak truth.

-Johann M.